James Cullen Bressack is a very prolific filmmaker and it surprised me when I got the screener for Blood Craft and I realized I hadn’t seen anything by him since Bethany in 2017. A quick visit to IMDB showed he had directed a pair of features. A drama, Limelight, and an animated kids movie, CarGo, as well as a couple of segments for anthologies.
Blood Craft sees him back to feature-length horror with a fairly inspired plot co-written with Madeline Wade. Grace (Madeleine Wade, Dances With Werewolves) and Serena (Augie Duke, Clown Fear, Hell’s Kitty) are sisters. They lost touch years ago after Grace fled their father’s abuse. Abuse that had become much worse after their mother (Dominique Swain, The 6th Friend, Minutes To Midnight) died. Their father was Minister Hall (Dave Sheridan, Victor Crowley, Scary Movie), a man who did not practice what he preached.
Now with their father dead Grace has come back home. The sisters however need some kind of closure, perhaps raising Daddy’s soul and tormenting it would provide that. But that will require a human host. Fortunately, an old friend Tyler (Michael Welch, M.F.A.) decides to break in looking for the money the Minister stole from the church…
I’ve seen plenty of films involving raising the spirits of the dead, but this is the first time I’ve seen it done just to inflict pain on them. That also raises the question, why bother? Surely if souls and life after death exist Daddy is already suffering. Probably a lot worse pain than they can dish out.
Overlooking that detail however Blood Craft is actually a pretty effective film. It resists the urge to simply be a Hostel style torture film and goes deeper. Some of their father’s revelations from the grave are shocking and the whole process takes a toll on the sisters. The big twist however may be obvious to some.
And there’s danger from other humans as well. Tyler’s father is the Sheriff (Mark Rolston, Tell Me How I Die) and he wants to know where his son went. Almost as much as he wants to know where the money is.
Blood Craft is a solid film, even if it’s predictable at times. It’s also a good return to the genre for James Cullen Bressack.
Vertical Entertainment will release Blood Craft on digital April 9th.